Category Archives: Information

Cryptocurrency Could Ruin Your Relationship



There is a risk for people who invest in cryptocurrency – it could hurt their personal relationships, Bloomberg Wealth reported. This information comes from a survey done by SurveyMonkey that was done on behalf of .Tech Domains. The survey was done with 1,033 Americans and balanced by age and gender.

…And while there might be no harm in checking in on investment more frequently, it appears that being in the crypto market does come with very real consequences for many. In fact, 60% of crypto investors say their belief or investments in the cryptocurrency have had a negative impact on their personal relationships.

The information on .Tech Domains continues: “With countless stories of people selling homes and businesses to invest in crypto and the sheer polarizing nature of the topic, perhaps it’s not surprising that so many crypto investors have experienced strain on their personal relationships.”

How much a person invests in cryptocurrency matters. There’s a direct correlation between the percentage of someone’s net worth that’s invested in cryptocurrencies and the likelihood they say their personal relationships have been impacted negatively, Bloomberg Wealth reported.

According to information Bloomberg Wealth found in the survey, about 25% of those who have invested 10% or less of their net worth into cryptocurrency say that they’ve seen a negative impact on their relationships. That number rises to 73% for those who’ve invested 10% to 25% of their net worth, 94% for those who invested 50% to 75% of their net worth – and 100% for those who’ve invested 75% or more of their net worth.

This finding makes sense, because money is a very common thing that couples fight about. Sometimes one person is a “saver” and the other person is a “spender” – and this leads to disagreements.

Cryptocurrency, however, adds more fuel to that fire. People who are absolutely convinced that investing in it will make them rich could make some very inadvisable decisions as a result. It makes sense that the person’s significant other would get really upset after finding out their partner sold the house without telling them.

The survey didn’t ask about how people’s awareness of the fact that cryptocurrency has negative effects on the environment can affect a relationship. My best guess is that if one person in the relationship feels that protecting the environment is important, and the other is buying cryptocurrency – that relationship is doomed.


The Email Double Standard



Every day, emails come in from favourite stores extolling their latest offers or newest stock, but try to contact the shop’s customer services by email and it’s a different matter.

I’m a fan of Bulldog‘s male grooming products and recently went to replenish the bathroom cabinet but was unable to get hold of one particular product. I visited four stores familiar to the British High Street – Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Boots and Superdrug –  and for those who don’t live in the UK, the first two are supermarkets and the others are health and beauty retailers. All the stores stocked Bulldog’s line and just this one thing was missing.

It’s always an annoyance when a favourite product is withdrawn and a replacement needs to be found, so I thought that I’d email the stores and the manufacturer to find out why there was a stock shortage before trying out alternatives. Easy-peasy, I thought. One email with five bcc’s would do the job…

After having a rummage on their respective websites, I discovered that email is not always their preferred method of contact. Not so easy-peasy after all. Of the five I wanted to email, only one, Boots, actually offers an email address. Here are the main customer service contact points.

  • Bulldog Skincare – single form on website
  • Sainsbury’s – selection from topic areas on website that ends in offering phone, Facebook, Twitter or BSL (British Sign Language)
  • Tesco – click-through several pages to get to form on website.
  • Boots – boots.customercare_team@boots.co.uk, plus phone and web form.
  • Superdrug – online chat, Facebook and Twitter

Well done Boots and kudos to Sainsbury’s for offering BSL upfront to customers, but I’m really disappointed as to how few offer email as a method of communication with customer services. To be fair to the shops, when and where I contacted their customer services, they did respond promptly and with relevant information, so I can’t complain too much.  However, there does seem to be a double standard here: the stores seem very happy to spam us with promotional email but if we need to contact them in return, it’s not so easy.


Medium Offers Buyouts to its Editorial Team



Ev Williams, CEO of Medium, announced that there will be changes made to Medium’s editorial strategy and leadership. Employees of Medium are being given a voluntary exit option if they “would like to take a different path”.

…I want to give an option to those who would rather get off this crazy ride. To that end, we’re offering to everyone in editorial a voluntary separation program (VSP). What this means is that they can choose to leave the company and receive a lump sum of payment of five month’s salary to give a buffer to find their next job. (We will also cover six months of health benefits.) Again, this is voluntary and applies to everyone in the editorial organization…

As a writer who occasionally posts things on Medium, I find this interesting. It is good that Medium is giving the editors who choose to leave the platform five months of salary and six months of health benefits. That should make it easier for them to find new jobs.

The Medium post by Ev Williams provides detailed background information that led up to the decision to let the editors go. In 2019, Medium decided to create their own publications. The first one that was launched was called OneZero (which is about tech and science). Medium launched seven magazine-style publications within the next nine months.

According to Ev Williams, commissioning stories from professional writers into publications “worked less well” than hoped. It wasn’t because the writing wasn’t good. The problem was that the Medium subscriber base grew – but the publication’s audiences did not.

One part of the article sticks with me. “Trust is more important than ever and well-established editorial brands still have meaning. But today, credibility and affinity are primarily built by people – individual voices – rather than brands. In fact, that describes the vast majority of what people read on Medium, and is in line with our Relational strategy.”

To me, it sounds like Medium might be gearing up to compete with Substack, Twitter’s Revue, and whatever Facebook is calling its newsletter option. As someone who occasionally posts articles on Medium, I am curious to find out what changes will come.


John McAfee has been Charged with Cryptocurrency Fraud



John McAfee, founder of the software company McAfee Associations (and the software that still bears his name), has been indicted on fraud and money-laundering conspiracy charges, according to Reuters. His bodyguard, Jimmy Gale Watson Jr., is also in trouble.

The United States Attorneys Office Southern District of New York posted a press release with more information. It should be noted that they described the crimes in their press release are described as “alleged”.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As alleged, McAfee and Watson exploited a widely used social media platform and enthusiasm among investors in the emerging cryptocurrency market to make millions through lies and deception.  The defendants allegedly used McAfee’s Twitter account to publish messages to hundreds of thousands of his Twitter followers touting various cryptocurrencies through false and misleading statements to conceal their true, self-interested motives.  McAfee, Watson, and other members of McAfee’s cryptocurrency team allegedly raked in more than $13 million from investors they victimized with their fraudulent schemes.  Investors should be wary of social media endorsements of investment opportunities.”

Reuters also reported that both McAfee and Watson face civil charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which in October accused McAfee of concealing more than $23.1 million he made from boosting seven cryptocurrencies on Twitter.

One thing to take from this situation is that it is never a good idea to post the crimes you, and your team, are allegedly doing, on your Twitter account.


Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z Invested in Bitcoin Endowment



Jack Dorsey and Jay Z have created an endowment to fund bitcoin development initially in Africa and India, TechCrunch reported. Jack Dorsey is the CEO of Twitter and Square, and Jay-Z is a rapper. TechCrunch also reported that the two have pledged 500 bitcoin – which is around $23.3 million – toward ₿trust.

On February 11, 2021, @jack tweeted: “JAY-Z/@S_C_ and I are giving 500 BTC to a new endowment named ₿trust to fund #Bitcoin development, initially focused on teams in Africa & India. It’ll be set up as blind irrevocable trust, taking zero direction from us. We need 3 board members to start:”

There appears to be good reason to focus on teams in Africa. According to TechCrunch, Africa (especially Nigeria) has experienced a surge in cryptocurrency transactions recently. Cryptocurrency offered protection against currency devaluation and for value exchange during cross-border transactions. Bitcoin is also useful for situations where the government shut down bank accounts.

India, however, might pose a problem regarding Bitcoin. Bloomberg Quint reported that India has introduced a bill called The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, to the ongoing Budget session of Parliament.

It is possible that the 500 BTC in the irrevocable trust could help people in Africa (who are already using Bitcoin.) It might not work out so well in India if their government is ready to ban Bitcoin.

CNBC reported about the downside of Bitcoin. It has a carbon footprint comparable to that of New Zealand, producing 36.95 megatons of CO2 annually, according to Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index. It also consumes as much power as Chile. The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption index says Bitcoin produces 110.53 TWh, which is more than the entire annual energy consumption of the Netherlands.

I think that Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z mean well and want to help people by making Bitcoin available to them. The environmental cost of bitcoin is too high. Perhaps Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z can invest in something that wouldn’t harm the planet as much as cryptocurrency mining does.


Facebook is blocking screen shares while Live



It has come to my attention that Facebook has started to kill a live stream anytime you show your computer screen. Last Thursday I was live and as soon as I shared a screen from my computer Facebook killed the stream. This also happened today when I did the New Media Show. This is very troubling as they are trying to prevent anyone from showing anything but the primary live screen.

This prevents people like me from actively switching my live show. If anyone else is experiencing this let me know but this changes the dynamic of my show I do live. This could be an attempt to stop people that are re-streaming content. For those of use using Facebook responsibly, this is incredibly troubling.


Substack Described its View of Content Moderation



Substack is a writing website that enables writers to publish to email and the web from one place. Each writer can make a newsletter which readers will pay for if they wish to read the writer’s work. Substack has a blog post in which it described its view of content moderation. Personally, I’m not entirely convinced that it will work out the way Substack hopes it would.

One big concept in Substack’s blog post is that readers are in full control of what they see. Readers make a conscious decision about which writers to invite into their inboxes and which ones to support with money. This gives Substack writers the potential to earn money for their writing. Any writer can choose to leave Substack at any time.

The other big concept is an emphasis on a style of content moderation that does not include censorship.

From the start, we have set out to encourage a broad range of expression on Substack. In most cases, we don’t think that censoring content is helpful, and in fact it often backfires. Heavy-handed censorship can draw more attention to content than it otherwise would have enjoyed, and at the same time it can give the content creators a martyr complex that they can trade off for future gain. We prefer a contest of ideas. We believe dissent and debate is important. We celebrate nonconformity.

That said, there are some limitations. Substack does not allow porn, spam, doxing or harassment. They also have content guidelines that will evolve as Substack grows. According to Substack: “There will always be many writers on Substack with whom we strongly disagree, and we will err on the side of respecting their right to express themselves, and their readers’ right to decide for themselves what to read.”

I can see some potential problems with the “hands off” content moderation that Substack is choosing. Those who want to write misinformation about COVID-19, vaccines, elections, voting rights, or specific politicians they happen to dislike, might decide that Substack is the place for them since it won’t censor (most) topics. Substack could quickly be overrun with the worst content that appears on social media sites – and the worst conversations that go along with it.

Substack appears to hope that their content moderation policies will attract writers of a wide variety of viewpoints and political persuasions. Perhaps that will happen. Or, Substack could be overwhelmed with a very lopsided mix of writers – who systematically push off the ones that they don’t agree with.